There’s a lot of concern around AI and what will happen to teaching jobs, especially in the field of TESOL. Are they legitimate? Will AI Kill TESOL? Certainly disruption is inevitable, so listen in as Brent and Ixchell discuss the possibilities and where concerns are legitimate vs where people can take control of their own teaching futures.

Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes 0:00
The DIESOL podcast,

Brent Warner 0:02
Developing Innovation in English as a second or other language.

Ixchell Reyes 0:07
Episode 88. Will AI kill TESOL?

Brent Warner 0:10
Welcome to DIESOL This is episode 88. We are your hosts. I’m Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes 0:31
And I’m your Ixchell Reyes. Good morning, Brent. Good morning.

Brent Warner 0:36
Yes. How are you?

Ixchell Reyes 0:39
Hi, good. How are you? From the future? Yeah. Brent is here with us from the future, so…

Brent Warner 0:47
Yeah. So we had a bit of a break. This is the longest break we’ve ever taken, I think. And I hope everybody’s doing well.

Ixchell Reyes 0:57
We had fires and hurricanes.

Brent Warner 1:01
Wonderful wonderful. All the good stuff. Yeah. I am in Japan. So I think we talked about that previously that I’m moving to Japan for a year. And now I’m living in Japan. And I’ve already kind of hit the first month already. And so there’s been a lot of settling in and sorting and everything but but yeah, it’s great. We have had our own weather issues. Number one, hot and sticky, as you know, in the Japanese summer. But also we had a lot of not hurricanes. We’ve had typhoons coming through here. The typhoons so we’ve had, it was crazy, like watching the news on in Okinawa, like flipping cars over just like just moving them and pushing them aside, like like nothing. And then there’s one was supposed to come through here. So I’m in Kobe, but they it was like all the weather, all weather news all the time. And it came through. And we’re like bracing for it. And we like filled up our bathtub with water. And we put like the window, like put mattresses against the windows, all these things. And it was like nothing. Nothing. Yeah, better, better to be prepared and have nothing than to be unprepared and have something terrible. So all right. So how have you been?

Ixchell Reyes 2:23
Pretty good. Just finished teaching a course and started a new one. But I also got to see Eric Roth are friend of the pod and colleague and he’s a friend of the pod and

Brent Warner 2:38
All of the above.

Ixchell Reyes 2:40
Yeah, he’s both on AI at our institution. And so that, you know, again, we need to revisit this topic. And just what, what the fears that we have about AI? And ultimately, we’re asking the question, that I know, Brent has thoughts about: Will AI Kill TESOL?

Brent Warner 3:04
Yeah, So let’s jump over right into it and get into the conversation. All right. So I think this is a real fear Ixchell. Like this, this is the thing that’s going on. And so this conversation, as you mentioned, we’re going to need to bring it back regularly. It’s it’s not something that’s just kind of a one and done. And please, please, please, if you’re reading anything that claims to be the authoritative final, final resource of final thing that you need to know about AI, please throw it right in the trash. Because whoever wrote that, or said, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Ixchell Reyes 3:47
zygote stages of,

Brent Warner 3:50
oh my gosh, yeah, it’s so wild. And so like, like, we need to talk about it. And you know, by definition, that that talking is going to be somewhat uninformed, right. And we can have some different ideas. And we can have some some ideas from history and all these types of things. But if we don’t start talking about if we don’t start sharing ideas, then we will be completely unprepared for whatever happens. So I think we’ll need to pivot as as changes come to us and we’ll be need to be kind of say, hey, how do we keep nimble? How do we keep moving? How do we figure out things? But to be clear, you know, whatever we say today is not good. Yeah, it’s not going to be it’s not going to be all end all conversation.

Ixchell Reyes 4:33
So Brent, one of the I think the most valid fears that I think we see with any kind of jump in technology or innovation or change is that jobs are gonna go away. And so you found an article on the Business Insider article called AI is going to eliminate way more jobs than anyone realizes. That’s not promising.

Brent Warner 4:59
Yeah, I mean, for sure that that is like, it’s definitely an eye catching title. But, I mean, it wasn’t exactly clickbait, you know, I mean, it really do talk about quite a lot of what’s going on inside of there. This article was really interesting. And we’ll we’ll kind of, we’re gonna kind of work our way through it as we talk to talk about these things. And then we’ll shift into the conversation around tea soul. But it started off with this idea of talking straight up the report from the World Economic Forum, saying that 44% of workers core skills are expected to change in the next five years.

Ixchell Reyes 5:36
That’s a big chunk. That’s like half the skills, the core skills, which also now means education has to also shift and what teachers are teaching has to shift. And it’s gonna hit this article talked about particular spectrum of, of occupations from marketing and sales, software engineering, research and development, to financial advising and writing, and according to them, just to name a few. But, and then there’s the article says it’s there at risk of being automated away or evolving.

Brent Warner 6:18
I know that’s, that’s wild, right? Like, because I mean, you kind of like read that as a quick little list on an article. But like, think about how big those fields are accounting, financial advising, writing, just everything.

Ixchell Reyes 6:33
Can you do any of the other ones without writing?

Brent Warner 6:36
So yeah, of course, writing, you know, like, it’s everything, right? It’s all these things. And so. And we can also even talk about, like, is writing going to be a skill in the future? Because

Ixchell Reyes 6:48
we’ve had this conversation before. And I think, more and more these days, like, you know, why should you waste your time, and I’m using the word waste, because I’m so conscious of how time how much time is spent, rather than why should you invest where I used to think you should invest, because you’d be a better writer, or thinker, or organized, but now I feel like, but at the same time, it’s a little bit of a waste of time.

Brent Warner 7:12
Well, I keep coming back to this argument that like, the things that we do that may seem tedious are the things that build our skills, right? And so, like, we don’t always like those moments, but we come when we become better at things, including critical thinking, because we slow down and work with the writing. Okay, so anyways, that is a different conversation that we’ve talked about a bit before. I’ll have to come back to that, too. I know, I know. So, anyways, one of the things they put in here, Ixchell was this interesting idea that like, it says here, the shift will be so massive that we won’t miss any of the jobs that disappear. Before the Industrial Revolution, there was a job of a human alarm clock, right, people would run around and tap on Windows to wake people up. And that was like an actual job for people. But that doesn’t exist anymore, right? And we don’t think about that. Now. We’re not we’re like, there’s nobody out there yearning for those days, just going I wish I was a window tapper, right? But it’s gonna be that same kind of thing where we’ll go, oh, there were these jobs that existed before. But like, why would we have those now? Right? Why would anyone want to do that?

Ixchell Reyes 8:19
time we used to spend learning long division or learning how to work out a problem, because we weren’t, we didn’t have calculators. And when calculators came in, we were able to do the same calculations but much faster and move on to solving bigger problems.

Brent Warner 8:37
Right, right. So you’re kind of it’s that same idea we’ve talked about before is that the starting step is now higher, right for so many different things that we’re talking about. So. So yeah, I think there’s a lot of interesting parts in here. And then one of the there it went into an article about the ATM. So Ixchell, can you explain a little bit about what what was going on with the ATMs?

Ixchell Reyes 9:00
So yeah, like with ATMs, and I may have seen some of the evolution of this because in the past, you used to have to go out into a central area of a city or to actually get to a big bank to do all of your transactions. But then when ATMs were brought into the banks, it now allowed for smaller branches to be allocated within, you know, further away and maybe more convenient to people. It also allowed for bank tellers to be freed up and be able to offer people customized help. And I think that I mean, I think to the to this day, I remember, I went to the bank to withdraw money, and I had no idea how to fill out the little form and the guy made. Yeah, and the guy made fun of me because I said, I’m so sorry, I don’t know. You said Come on. You’ve got to keep your tellers there. Gotta make sure we have jobs. But again, this was years ago, because I was number one, I probably didn’t have enough cash to keep in the bank. So I never actually could go. But that’s one of the ways, right? Yeah,

Brent Warner 10:12
yeah, for sure. And so I think part of this thing is like, we we get into our heads about, like, all the negative possible bad things that are gonna happen. But we also is valid for surance. Yeah. And we also have to remember that, like, we don’t really know what those changes are going to bring about, right. And so so we would sit we would imagine, hey, these ATMs here are going to be taking away bank tellers jobs, but actually, it increased them in the in the long run, right. So yeah, for sure, individual bank tellers lost their jobs, because those machines came out. And they’re like, Well, what do I need to do, but then they could have moved out to another place or other people had more opportunities to work in a more rural bank or whatever else? It is, right. And we also saw the same thing with like typewriters, right? Remember, remember, it’s like, okay, you know, like, it’s going to, it’s going to take away jobs from secretaries. And then if you look at these kinds of images from like, Mad Men, right, where you get these, these huge rooms, where there’s just like, tons of people typing all the time, and it’s like, oh, the technology actually makes us able to do things more quickly and be more productive and therefore create more jobs for, you know, for people that didn’t exist before. Right. And so,

Ixchell Reyes 11:19
the plug in the phone lines, remember? Yeah, yeah. But that that released the whole, like, hundreds of people to learn other skills. And the I guess, that’s the trade off when, when, when technology or when innovation is growing so exponentially, that the adjustment time seems harsh, I suppose there’s no trend, technology doesn’t decide that we’re going to transition slowly and smoothly. There’s a discovery or we find something out, it’s done. It’s now in your face, and you have to survive through it until you’re up to speed.

Brent Warner 11:59
For sure. And I can hear people right now saying, Yeah, but this is different because of this. And it’s like, yeah, I get it. But it’s also not because we don’t know what that endpoint actually is, right? And so we’re only just imagining what we’re holding in our heads. And we’re not really thinking about, you know, it’s hard to go steps beyond and see like, okay, like, instead of the microcosm that I’m looking at, and living in, what’s the what’s the macro level? And what’s actually going on out there. So, so I get it, I definitely understand I’m like, well, well, I can do this. And I can do that. And I can do this, you know all these things. So I do get it. But I’m just saying that we don’t know where that endpoint is. So, so I wanted to point out, they actually pulled from, from that article about the ATMs from Wall Street Journal, they said a few different things inside of there. And they were saying, you know, it’s always happened, we’re evolving, and the jobs are changing. The one major difference, however, is the time of change is compressing, because the pace of technology is moving exponentially, right. And so I thought that was really interesting. And they said, The problem is not mass unemployment is transitioning people from one job to another. And so Ixchell, this is a little bit where I want to start talking about our field too. And we’ll get deeper into TESOL of courses in a moment. But, but I think that that’s really what a lot of people are not preparing themselves for, as they’re saying, Well, what am I going to transition to? Right? Like, if I want to be in the language acquisition field, cool? Is it going to look the same in five years? 10 years, whatever? No, probably not. There’ll be different changes, there’ll be a lot of massive changes. And, you know, but like, Are people preparing themselves to transition? Or are they just waiting for things to happen. And again, we don’t know exactly what will happen, but like, the better you train yourself, the better you set yourself up, then you’ll be in a much better position to stay safe if it’s the field that you care about and love, right. I also see other teachers already. I mean, this is a little bit sad, of course, but I see teachers transitioning a lot, like on LinkedIn, for example, and they’ll be like, Okay, I was Teasle. And now I’m doing not only Teasle all sorts of teachers, but like, a lot of them are going to bed tech companies, which is a separate concern of mine. But, but the, you know, there’ll be like, Okay, well, now I’m moving into instructional design, right? And I’m helping teachers set up their stuff. It’s like, okay, cool, like, you’re finding a way to, to match your passions and the things that you like, with the education aspects, but also recognizing that these things are going to be part of that conversation. So people who are moving I think into instructional design, are probably setting themselves up really well for, you know, a much longer future in the field.

Ixchell Reyes 14:43
Yeah, I guess it reminds me of as you’re talking about that it reminds me of the earlier days of Twitter, where I was following all these teachers who were sharing so much of their work. And that’s basically where I kind of developed some of my skills. And of course, it’s years later now, and all of these people I used to follow are now consultants or they’re writing books or they’re, you know, at some company and it’s like, wait a minute, I don’t want to see Advertise your product. But again, that has shifted, but that’s going to bring, again, a whole new group of teachers, maybe not on Twitter, but a whole new group of people to fill in those places and differently.

Brent Warner 15:27
Absolutely. So I think there’s a lot more we there’s this article kind of goes into it quite a bit. There’s interesting things on how productivity has changed. But I think we’ve kind of we’ve kind of talked about it, Ixchell also let’s, let’s switch over to the actual TESOL conversation.

Ixchell Reyes 15:46
So what about T cell? Pre chat GPT? There is an article you found, and article is called Why artificial intelligence will never replace teachers. pretty challenging. So let’s reevaluate. Let’s reassess.

Brent Warner 16:10
Yeah. So it got into it got into three points, three major points in this article. And by the way, this is pretty good. Like there’s some there’s some good points in here. So we’re laughing, but it’s like, but I am wearing

Ixchell Reyes 16:21
But I still hold on to some of these.

Brent Warner 16:21
Yeah, for sure. And we should. But I’m also just wary of articles that came out before chat. GPT. Because I’m like, Well, did the person who wrote this really know what they’re talking about? Or were they just imagining AI from whatever, right. And so, so anyways, so it got to three main points, which is teaching is about relationships, teachers are constantly evolving. And teaching is about human connection. And I don’t know Ixchell, I think kind of one and three are kind of the same thing. Relationships and human connection to me sounds like the same thing, but

Ixchell Reyes 16:54
You can’t really have a relationship without the connection.

Brent Warner 16:56
Yeah. So let’s start with number one teaching about relationships. So what does that mean to you? And how do you see that connecting with our field?

Ixchell Reyes 17:05
I think that as a human being, and not as a robot, you tend to you react sometimes because you’re able to assess how students are performing. But you’re also able to distinguish the and I guess, the unspoken, the nuances that are there, you might be able to recognize their facial expressions, or they’re feeling nervous, and they might, you know, they might need extra support from the teacher, newcomers might need a little bit more empathy. So that, to me, is the aspect where I still have doubts that, or I don’t know how fast AI might be able to get there. So I would actually say that, I think that’s where we can put most of our money on.

Brent Warner 17:50
Yeah, yeah. So building relationships and having people who want to work with you, right. Like, there are a lot of things that I could learn just by reading about it online, or taking, you know, taking a an automated course online, or whatever else it is. But it’s not the same thing as when I go in and work with a teacher and work with classmates and having those connections with other people. So I think that that is still going to continue to be a thing. But one thing that I am, you know, I predict that teachers with a top down approach are just going to be out weeded out completely, like if you’re just like a lecturing teacher. And if you don’t, you know, show your students that you care about them. If you don’t, you know, if you don’t get involved with them in their learning process. I don’t think students will find any need for you, and they won’t take your classes ultimately, right. Like, you’ll just be, you’ll be the person that’s constantly hustling to find students to join your class, or whatever else it is. And it’s like, they’re gonna go and you know, not really because I can learn other otherwise without you I can get I can, if it’s just information, I can read that I can ask Jack GPT, or whatever to give it to me.

Ixchell Reyes 18:58
So faster and more accurate with sources.

Brent Warner 19:02
Yeah. So so if you’re not developing that relationship, and language learning is a process, right? It’s not a you know, it’s not an instant thing. And so you have to actually, kind of I think the teachers who are good at unfolding that and helping the process move along, are going to be really effective. The ones who are just like, here’s the information, figure it out. Those ones are going to be the ones that are struggling when, when shifts start coming.

Ixchell Reyes 19:31
The second one that you mentioned was that teachers are constantly evolving. That’s true. We’re constantly needing to try new things. Well, the people who I believe that the people who like to enjoy what they do, are constantly learning new things and experimenting with new methods or new approach, by the

Brent Warner 19:52
way includes everybody listening right now. Or listening of your own free

Ixchell Reyes 19:56
something new people. Yeah, you’re one of those you’re curious if you’re cute. Are you as I think that that’s what’s going to keep you growing? And no machine could ever duplicate the nimbleness and creativity of a good teacher? I think part of the traits that make a good teacher is that, as I said that teachers stay curious because they’re constantly assessing and evaluating how they’re going to bring that lesson, they always have to teach a new meaning for them. And for the students, especially as a student populations change, and teachers are constantly needing to see how can I do this differently? How can I change a little bit of this? How can I tweak this? Or oh, I learned this from someone else? How can I incorporate that? So that’s just not something that a machine can do here?

Brent Warner 20:44
I’m gonna put a very strong emphasis on yet one this is this is one that I disagree with actually, the constant, you know, like, yes, teachers are constantly evolving. And that’s great. But I actually think, you know, they’re saying no, no machine could ever duplicate the nimbleness and creativity of a good teacher, that’s what you that’s the part you quoted there. And it’s like, let’s really re examine that. Because when we start looking at, hey, if we’re starting to customize, and if this machine knows who you are, and they’re like checking out your patterns of learning, and the things that you respond well to, and when, what time you’re able to do work well, and what time you don’t do work well, and what time you know, like, do you respond to videos better? Or do you respond to rereading something, you know, whatever else it is, it’s going to be able to use algorithms that are going to be self generated to figure out all these types of things, and then totally build out customized content, specifically to every individual student, right? And so that kind of evolve, evolution is actually not something that we as teachers are great, right? We’re good at saying like, hey, let’s try this. Let’s try this experiment, see what works. And

Ixchell Reyes 21:52
we sort of stick to what we’re comfortable with. Correct? Right. Yeah. Because we’re afraid of trying something new every single time we’ll try it. But yeah, we’re not gonna take that big risk.

Brent Warner 22:01
And even those of us who are who are experimenters with those things, we can’t just do, like, here’s something that works better. But if we’re able to say like, Hey, I have a database of a million students that I’m pulling from, who are all doing things, and then and then using that, like the Netflix algorithm to recommend the best movies that you would like to recommend the best learning techniques and based on the themes that you like, right, like, that’s something that people are not going to really have the time to do even as a one on one. Totally dedicated individual teacher. Right. So so this is an interesting thing. Yes, we’re evolving in Yes. You know, I don’t disagree with that idea. But I do disagree with the idea that machines won’t. Yeah, I think they’ll be able to do it better than us. And so we should not fear that we should, we should say okay, like, hey, let’s figure out how to use that, and

Ixchell Reyes 22:51
how, what role we play along that. And I think, Brent, that’s one of the things that Eric was talking about, he referred to an article on how Harvard is this fall going to give it’s, it’s, I think it’s a class of computer science students, every single student that enrolls is going to have a individualized Chatbot. And, again, where this is, as far as I know, this is the first time that it’s been done on such a massive scale at a place of research. And well, I guess we’ll see what happened and what they found out, but I bet that something better will come out. So in four months, we’ll have to revisit what happened with this.

Brent Warner 23:36
Yeah, for sure. I mean, this is just, there’s so much changing here. So So anyways, kind of wrapped up here on the on these points that she had made on this article was the teaching is about the human connection. And we said that about the relationships, I had read a different post online where someone said, hey, you know, when I had a student who recently got married, and they were my student in third grade or whatever, and they invited me to their wedding and that type of connection and me being important to them in their life. It have affected that teacher in a way that was very powerful, but that also means that it affected that student and you will never be able to invite your bought your wedding. You know, like and it’s not going to be a thing that you know, it would care about or you know, like it would care quote, you know, quote unquote care about and so I that is an interesting point, right? So it’s like when we develop human relationships, relations with the other things and other with other people, then that is that is something that isn’t replicable as far as I can see. Now, we do have feelings for things that don’t exist, right? We’re

Ixchell Reyes 24:42
talking about this.

Brent Warner 24:45
So like, I don’t know, you play watch a movie, right? You watch Wally and you care about the character Wally? It’s a fake robot that we care about.

Ixchell Reyes 24:54
So are you playing Mass Effect and the ending affects you so much that you cry?

Brent Warner 24:59
Mm. Hmm, yeah. So so we are, you know, we was we anthropomorphize things. And we say that like, hey, it’s, it’s human when it’s not human. But at the same time, we are also able to distinguish the difference, just like kids are able to distinguish, you know, distinguish the difference when they’re, you know, playing a game and shooting someone versus actually shooting someone, right. And so, so it’s something to be aware of. And again, we don’t know how it will all play out. But it’s something to kind of go well, hold on, let’s sit back here and go, we recognize that we might have some certain feelings and some connections, but there’s not going to be the same thing as a human connection.

Ixchell Reyes 25:36
You know, it’s interesting. You’re, I’m thinking of my nephew, who’s six. And he has a two year old brother, two year old brother. But again, this is he’s generation Alpha. They’re both generation Alpha don’t know the world without technology, multiple versions of it. Everywhere at home. And the two year old picked up Alexa, like physically picked up. And his brother said, Jackson, no, You never pick up Alexa be kind to Alexa. So he didn’t say don’t pick that up. Don’t pick up the speaker. Don’t you know, he’s already that’s, you know, that’s Alexa. And so does the two year old for that matter?

Brent Warner 26:16
Yeah, it’s interesting. Geez. Okay, so let’s dig really into our field in particular. So foreign language study language study, English study, of course, in particular, who is going to want to study English, right? Like, this is going to be the thing, right? So if we’re gonna say, hey, if I can get all this stuff, instantly trans translated or, you know, figured out for me and Ixchell have you seen that? It was about a year is two, maybe two years ago, it actually the commercial came out for the Google AR translation classes. Yeah,

Ixchell Reyes 26:48
I wasn’t, I wasn’t in Japan. And I remember you sent me a link, because I had seen something over there. similar, but not a Google product. Mm,

Brent Warner 26:57
yeah. And so it’s like, basically, it’s a very moving commercial to like, but you put on these glasses, and the engineers were introducing it to these different people, and then they would put on the glasses and inside the glasses, just like the Google Glass from a bunch of years ago, it would just put text right onto the inside of the lens. And so what would happen was the person was talking to the person wearing the glasses, and they were speaking English, and it would instantly translate it and put the text written out on the inside of the glasses. So they would actually be looking at each other eye to eye, but the person will be reading what the other person was saying. And, and then in their own language, right, so they can understand what they were saying, even though they were being spoken to in English. And then, and they showed it in this commercial. And I don’t know how the editing went, and you know how this speed of everything goes. But like, but essentially, they were having a real conversation to have them speaking separate languages, but in immediate real feedback time, right? And so when we start incorporating in the AI side of this stuff in the generative side of things, and going well, hey, we can instantly swap this thing out, we can put this language inside of things, then then we do really have to answer this question. Who wants to study

Ixchell Reyes 28:13
English? It’s gonna be like one of those careers where you’re like, the old fashion English teacher that knew everything before. We had a I like the librarians. Yeah.

Brent Warner 28:26
Well, yeah, I mean, but think about that, too. Because librarians now. You know, I work with a great librarian, Cheryl Bailey, at my school, and it’s like, it’s so interesting, because she’ll talk about what they do. And it’s so different from what the current job what the traditional environment is. Yeah. Exactly. And so it’s like, it’s like, okay, this job has totally evolved and changed and

Ixchell Reyes 28:52
there and it’s still necessary, and it’s super powerful.

Brent Warner 28:55

Ixchell Reyes 28:56
not eliminating it by choice,

Brent Warner 28:58
right. We had on the show, right?

Ixchell Reyes 29:01
Yeah. All right. Is it Florida? Or is it my home state? Okay, not very far.

Brent Warner 29:09
Let’s go dark. So, but there’s a quote here. So it’s, he who is not acquainted with foreign languages knows nothing of his own. And that’s from a Gupta, right. And so that actually came out of a book that I’m reading right now it was recommended to I was recommended. It’s called the last lingua franca by Nicholas ostler, and it’s from 2010. So sorry, the Gupta telco is is you know, group. But the the book, it was put inside of this book, and it’s really interesting book and it kind of talks about this idea. I’m still only in the beginning of it. I’m only about 10%. And so I don’t really have a good grasp of it yet. But it’s it’s getting into kind of this idea that we don’t necessarily need to have a lingua franca where English spent a long time trying, you know, working, working to become the lingua franca, and by the way all lingua franca is have faded and disappeared over time. And it’s there’s no reason necessarily to think that English would continue to be the one. But I do like this idea from this quote, he was not acquainted with foreign languages knows nothing of his own right. And it’s like, or her own or their own. But, you know, this is what a great idea, right? Because Ixchell, obviously you’ve studied foreign languages, I’ve studied foreign languages. And the more you learn other languages, the better sense you have of your own and you improve your own communication in your own language. Right. Do you feel that’s true? Oh, absolutely.

Ixchell Reyes 30:45
It goes beyond what I, especially now. And it’s been a decade since I was a student of the languages, but now having interacted with people, of the countries that speak those languages, and the way that the way that I probably approached them five years ago, and now, five years later, it all evolved. And it all goes back to having studied all of those different languages and the nuances that go with it, the different concepts of time, etc. How perceptions, you know, mutual perceptions, yeah,

Brent Warner 31:19
yeah, for sure. And then, and to me, like this is where it gets into being important for our students in our field, is that, you know, it’s easy. And I think a lot of us kind of think, Oh, well, the reason I’m learning English is to, you know, be able to do business in another country, or the reason I’m learning it is because I live in, in this other country, something like that. But that’s not really I mean, we’re talking about this idea of expanding your worldview. And so I always think about these things. Sometimes I get these, like, Aha moments when I’m studying Japanese. And it’s like, these phrases don’t really translate to English, right? Or, or, or they don’t translate to the other language from English, right? And again, when students go back, they go, Oh, I never heard that kind of idea before. It’s a different way of thinking about the world, right? And I’ve had those for myself. And it’s like, so we can, they’ll never be quickly translated, even if we’re using AI in a, you know, in a Google Glasses type of thing, right? Because that language won’t come out the same way. Just like the Huber won’t translate unless you understand that language to understand the humor of what they think is funny, right? You’re not going to be able to see that with a translated language. Right. And so I came up with a couple of examples, and you’re welcome to share of course, too, but I was thinking of one a Japanese one. There’s this expression. I’m sure you’ve heard it. The Neko Gita. Have you heard this one? You feel the cats? Yeah. So Nico. Geeta, is this expression. That means like, you have to wait until something hot cools down before you eat it or drink it, right? Like it’s too hot. And so you have to wait a lot. But it’s not just like, it’s not just like, oh, slow down and wait, because it’s too hot. It’s actually kind of like a person tree. Yeah, trait. Like it’s like a trait of a person. And they’re like, Oh, you are

Ixchell Reyes 33:06
my students is Dustin, are you Nico to the Omega don’t like, What are you talking about cat’s tongue? Like, okay,

Brent Warner 33:11
and it’s like, it’s like, doesn’t everybody have to wait until something is hot? Like, like, how is that a trait until you start understanding the culture and how it’s playing and how that works? Then you’re like, Oh, this is a different way of thinking about things. It’s not just like, it’s not just a situation that happens, it is a way that a person is right. And so and then even to this day, I still kind of like, I get defensive about it. Like, oh, you know, like, that’s, that makes me not tougher. something dumb like that, right? You know, but like, but it’s interesting, because you think of it, then you start thinking about it in a different way, where it’s just like, you know, in English, we just be like, okay, just wait until it cools down. But yeah, exactly. So it’s like, quite different. So I don’t know if you have any of these types of expressions. We do

Ixchell Reyes 33:57
have one in Spanish. And it always comes to me when I need to, I guess in English, it would translate to vent but the word is this all God said. And within the word you have the like, it’s the what you need to do, to vent but in a way where you become so flooded with emotion, that you’re going to share it with somebody and they’re going to probably be taken away with you and rescue you from it, which is no different than to vent. So I can whenever I’m pretty worked up about something it always comes to like I need to this. I don’t say I need to vent i It’s like, this is the list I’ve got on my desk. So government, like you’re drowning, but you need to make sure that you’re not drowning because you’re flooding so you need to unground yourself.

Brent Warner 34:50
I love that because like even just in how long it’s taking you to explain that right? Like it’s super cool, and it’s super interesting and we’ll have the conversation but like an auto translation of That wouldn’t work right? Or it would just be like to vent and it would miss all of that nuance of what’s actually going on inside of there and what the person is really feeling. One other one I found online and found a few but but you know, there’s there’s lots of these examples, and I’d love to hear from other people what their favorites are out there. But, but one other one that I found from Thai that I liked was this, and I hope my pronunciation it’s I’m sure it’s completely wrong. Gring Jai. And it’s the feeling you get when you don’t want someone to do something for you. Because it would be a pain for them. Like goodness, and I know that feeling like I’m like, Oh, I get that. But yeah. Too much. And, you know, like, Hola, you know, it’s like, all this stuff. But like, we don’t have a really a way to say that in English, right? I mean, like, there’s no term for that. Or even if even if we wanted to explain that to someone where you would have to really explain it to someone quite clearly about like, Hey, this is what’s going, you know, and we wouldn’t even say, oh, it’s because I’m having this feeling of growing jaw. It’s like, it’s like, it’s like, so anyways, these things are just, they’re fun. They’re such a fun part of learning another language. And so I would, you know, so for tea soul for the language learning field, then we’ve got so much more to play with that as well, right? Because there’s people who want to learn that and understand that about English speakers, right? Like, what are the things in the ways that that we think about the world and the ways that we see the world that’s going to affect us, and affect the way that we can understand a broader, you know, way of communicating a way of understanding people’s feelings, all of those types of things.

Ixchell Reyes 36:39
And I can see, I know, we’re moving through some of this, we’re talking it out, but I’m reading a book on it’s called through the language gloss. And it’s more of a it’s a, it’s by a Canadian author, it wasn’t, I don’t think it’s widely available here. But the author had to work with different business companies in China and Singapore, where people from different nations who speak English have to come to some kind of agreement or some kind of sales. And because of the, these kind of, what are the these these ideas that cannot be translated into English? How he had to take a step back, and now start thinking of everything as a continuum, and how a Dutch person might perceive a Canadian expressing the same idea and how a Japanese person might be perceived by an Arabic speaker, when they’re apologizing, and just all this stuff that we don’t think about that? I don’t know how fast AI can can get there? I don’t I think it’s a possibility now, again, but it’s just fascinating,

Brent Warner 37:58
right? Well, and I mean, also, I see this as problematic, too, for language learning, because you might, you might see someone speaking in one way and see it translated in another way. Right? And it’s like, yeah, it’s like, it’s like, Hey, what are you doing? Right? And they’re clearly mad and like, screaming at you, and then the text comes across as like, you know, it’s already pre programmed to try and be polite and clear, right? So it’s like, you know, can we talk about doing this in a different way? Question mark, but the person is screaming and pointing at you. You’re like, Wait a second. I’m getting mixed messages here as well. Right.

Ixchell Reyes 38:30
So, you know, I was watching, you know, how I like true crime. And I’ve been watching different trials. And one of the trials, there was a witness who spoke Spanish, but spoke Puerto Rican Spanish. And the court translator was not Porter was not translating from Puerto Rican Spanish. So there were so many disagreements in the comments of people who knew Spanish different types of Spanish and now saying, No, that’s not what she said. She said, there’s no oh, that’s. So again, some of those nuances were lost, because we don’t know. And also, I don’t necessarily know what the court needs translated in order to go into record. But that’s gonna be problematic.

Brent Warner 39:09
For sure, yeah. And so we’ll definitely be dealing with a lot of these types of stumbling points, as we go into all of these, you know, as we go into this language learning concept and like, what needs to be done and what doesn’t need to be done? And what can we trust in terms of, you know, AI stuff, and what can we not trust yet? And and, of course, we can’t trust people all the time, either, right? So kind of, there’s a lot of negotiation that will still continue to go on. So I think we’ll wrap this up with this last section here, which is, what kind of programs are going to exist and what will fade away, right? Because I think that this is going to be a big part of this conversation is like, Hey, I teach I teach ESL or ESL in this setting or in that setting. Is that going to continue? Is that going to not? And so Ixchell I think I’d like to hear your thoughts on some of these as we kind of just go through the list. So, oh, yeah, go ahead.

Ixchell Reyes 40:02
I was gonna say we’re gonna vary on some of these. But let’s, let’s get into it

Brent Warner 40:05
totally fine. So k 12, ESL. So ESL, we’re not when I’m saying ESL at this point, I’m talking about students who have come to a native English speaking country like America, or like the UK, they’ve come from another country. And now they are in a K 12 program of some sort, and studying English so that they can survive in that school. So, so what do you think is going to happen with K 12, ESL? Well, I’m not

Ixchell Reyes 40:32
necessarily completely up to date as to how they’re currently teaching ESL in K through 12, right now, but I do see this as where a student could have an AI, you won’t need a teacher’s aide anymore, or you won’t need like, I don’t even think they do pull up groups anymore. I think if a student can just listen to something and then have it translated into their own language, and then perform on a test, I don’t think that as we I think there will be some components of it, that will have to be adjusted that will remain, but I don’t know that it will exist the way it is, I think, the cultural part maybe to help them transition better to have the human contact, and especially because their children, and have those relationships, I think that aspect will will still be there.

Brent Warner 41:23
Interesting, my mind is quite different actually on this one. So I actually think that this will stay pretty solid, in the programs. So because these are kids who are coming and trying to, you know, fit into the culture where they live, right. And for kids, that’s super important to be able to communicate with other kids right to be and their brains are sponges, right? They have the most the most flexibility and learning at that point to and so I think that this will actually stay pretty strong programs. Of course, I do agree.

Ixchell Reyes 41:56
Yeah, I think it’s gonna change, I think it’s, I just think a lot of it might change and who knows, it might change and then go back to what

Brent Warner 42:03
I think parts will change. But I don’t think these programs these programs will fade away is what I’m getting to. And so, so I think there’ll be a lot of AI stuff going on, like help and support and all those sorts of things. But I really think that the kids who are coming in and they’re in these programs, they’re going to learn English right there or, you know, yeah, they’re going to learn English. And they’re going to need programs to help them build and learn their English so that they can survive, because the schools are not going to even even with the options for translating, or whatever else it is through AI, they’re not going to build all of their curriculum in 20 different languages for every different student that’s across the whole school, right. And so it’s regardless, it’s going and it’s going to be better for the student in the long term, if they’re going to be in in America, let’s say they’ve moved here as a refugee or whatever, and they’re never going to leave, they’re going to want to be an American. And so they’ll want to, you know, learn that. And of course, they’d like to keep their own language. I’m not not getting to that at all, but I’m just saying, I think these programs will continue to exist. Okay, so that’s

Ixchell Reyes 43:05
open. Yeah, nope, sorry, adult ESL,

Brent Warner 43:08
a same kind of thing. Actually, I think my thinking is that these will be adult ESL, the students who are in we have a very robust adult ESL program at at our school. And I think that this is the reason that a lot of these people are taking these classes is because they want to be involved with the culture more. Now, I think. Are you talking to me? Yeah, yeah, more more integrated with the culture more part of part of American life? Yeah, the community. Now, I don’t think that’s going to be the same for everybody. Because I do think a lot of the people who are taking those classes are just kind of like, I guess I kind of need to know some stuff. And like, they’re, they would be like, if I can get those glasses, and if I can get it going on my phone with with the headset, I’m good, like, because, you know, you know, people that live in another country and 90% of the time, they’re still speaking their own language, they’ve come as an adult, they don’t really care that much. They just, they want to just kind of do their thing. So I think there’ll be some reduction, but I think a lot of the people who are in a program like this are probably still more prone, because again, they’re in that culture, right? They’re in that that language place. And so I think that those programs will still maybe reduce a bit, but they’ll probably probably stay pretty strong.

Ixchell Reyes 44:25
Okay, so what about TEFL? What do you think that I think? Well, I think it will stay but I know, I don’t know how it will stay I’m more open to the idea that it’s going to go away because I know that you’ve talked about it for a long time. I think that’s opened my mind to that. But I don’t know what it’s going how it’s going to change. I think it’ll stay for a while. But I want to hear what you think now posts I guess is that post chat GBT through the initial stages that we’re going through.

Brent Warner 44:56
Yeah. I I do think it’s going to fade pretty seriously, I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of people that are going to want to just study English for no real reason. You know, like, even if they’re gonna say, Hey, I’m going to do business once, once a year, like for a week with, with these people from America or people from Australia or whatever it is, right? I don’t think that that’s going to be a heavy motivator for people anymore.

Ixchell Reyes 45:23
They’re going to be like, playing the piano would be your

Brent Warner 45:27
Yeah, I mean, there’s something like that. Absolutely. There will be people who will want to learn languages as hobby is right as Yeah, hey, I want to keep growing my, you know, I think this is interesting. I like it as its own thing. But a lot of this, like, hey, I need to learn this to be able to be a contender in the world field, I think a lot of that’s gonna fade, and therefore a lot of TEFL is going to fade as well. And I think, you know, if my understanding of this book, you know, the last lingua franca is correct, then, you know, most of the people aren’t necessarily going to feel a need to it to learn another language just to be able to be competitive in the world stage. Right. And so, that doesn’t mean they won’t want to learn them at all. But I think that there’ll be a lot less outside pressure to, to learn another foreign language and to learn English as a foreign language. Yes, there will still be some Yes, they will still exist. But again, I’m seeing like, I see the very serious drop in the TEFL field overall.

Ixchell Reyes 46:34
Okay. Credit writing programs. I actually think this is where I feel maybe because I worked in writing programs more than the others. But I feel that these are, I feel scared to say that they’re going to fade away. But I do think that there’s going to be some kind of massive revamp, or what it means to take a credit writing course. And it might just be refined, and maybe outsourced to the departments that that, you know, depending on the type of writing that the student needs, I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s how I feel about it right now. That will fade away. I’m 100. Do you feel bad?

Brent Warner 47:17
Yeah, I mean, this is my bread and butter. I mean, this is this is the main the main courses that I teach at school. And these are the main programs I’ve been, I’ve been running for many years, you know, in our, in our program, and so, and it’s just like, it’s devastating, because it’s like, when you tie it to yourself, personally, you’re like, you get you feel hurt, right? And you’re like, yeah, like all this work I’ve done for everything, right. But I, you know, we’ve had some of these conversations with my department. And it’s like, Well, are we just going to stick to like this, you know, this tradition and blah, blah? Or are we going to start saying, hey, we need to be ready for this, because, you know, it’s, at least in California, students already have the choice of going directly into a transfer level course and skipping the ESL now they are currently, you know, failing those courses, a lot of if they don’t have the English language skills, but in the future, maybe the teachers out there and I’ve already seen teachers talk about this for years ago, I don’t really care if the teacher if the student can speak English, I care what their ideas are, right? It’s like, okay, well, if it’s going to translate in prettied up and put together in a clear way through chat, GPT or whatever, I just, I don’t see a long future for it right now, at least is the way that it stands. So these types of programs are, you know, my colleagues know. So it’s not like not like, I’m sure, but there’s gonna be people that are hurt by this idea and are devastated.

Ixchell Reyes 48:45
Angry, too. But But again, I think I’d like to point out that long ago used to have women paint watches using radium by licking their paintbrush into the radium to paint the numbers that glowed and then yeah, the radium girls, they died of cancer. And when that Yeah, well, you need to read this book, radium girls and then when they came out with the research, and they shut shut it down. People were angry because people lost their jobs.

Brent Warner 49:15
Oh, that’s the connection.

Ixchell Reyes 49:17
That’s the connection. People lost their jobs. People lost their jobs. But again, yes, it’s getting late over here. All right.

Brent Warner 49:32
Let’s wrap this up with a couple a couple of quick ones. So this is your current area, ESP. English for specific purposes.

Ixchell Reyes 49:38
i This is scary. I think this is going to fade away with very few places where like government, certain government jobs or met in the medical field where it might you might need to know. I don’t know like where you can’t trust the technology. I think it will dim it will Well, I think it will fade away. I think it will, I think, Oh, it hurts to say that.

Brent Warner 50:08
And then the last one is Business English English. Same kind of thing, right? I think I

Ixchell Reyes 50:14
just, I don’t even see it as as popular as it used to be anymore because you have all these Instagram business English people, and you have these chat bots. And I don’t I just don’t I think it’s already begun. Yeah. But maybe I’m unaware of where it’s still happening. I don’t know.

Brent Warner 50:34
No, I mean, it’s still like, it’s it’s tricky, because these fades are not like overnight, right? Like, they kind of like start hitting people in different ways in different times. And then people start going, Oh, well, I’m seeing declining enrollment or whatever. And they’re not really recognizing it necessarily as a bigger pattern of hey, this.

Ixchell Reyes 50:50
Other dominoes are being put in the right position for eventual do. Oh, man.

Brent Warner 50:59
All right. Well, there’s a couple other articles that we found, I guess we could share them in the show notes.

Ixchell Reyes 51:03
And we’ll have to come back to this conversation. Because, again, every four or five months, we need to be talking about this.

Brent Warner 51:11
Yeah, for sure. At least so. So let’s, let’s jump out

Ixchell Reyes 51:23
all right, it is time for our fun finds. And today I have simulations labs, AI, dot simulations, And it’s aI powered, of course, you can build scenarios, or you can play simulations, doesn’t require any code. And it can help you to have different and have different scenarios that you’re negotiating through to enhance skills. So I think this is worth checking out. I’ve just playing been playing around with it. And I think it’s pretty cool. Reminds me of what’s that other one where you choose your own adventure, but you build it through red? No. Oh, you’re talking about ink. inkle binary point? twine? Yeah, sort of like that. But like the AI version?

Brent Warner 52:14
Oh, cool. Nice.

Ixchell Reyes 52:15
What do you got?

Brent Warner 52:17
So mine is a Japanese product. It’s called heme? Yachty shot su Shaohua. So it’s, it’s this spray that you put on your shirt? When it’s hot out like it is here?

Ixchell Reyes 52:30
Have you seen it? Because it off? Yeah. Three bottles.

Brent Warner 52:34
Yeah. So it basically it’s like a menthol with something else spray. So it actually cools you off for like an hour. So it’s like you put a couple sprays on your shirt on your back. And then when you go out in the heat, it actually pulls out the heat from your body and it cools you down at the same time. And you’re I don’t know, like you’re spraying some chemicals on your body and your shirt.

Ixchell Reyes 52:53
It’s actually it’s pretty neat. It works because my nephew sprayed himself with it after baseball practice, but then he had to shower. He’s like, I’m so cold. I’m so cold.

Brent Warner 53:04
Yeah, so they have these things. Like they have a bunch of different brands. This one is, you know, this one is like has a polar bear on it. But it’s like, it’s pretty cool. So like, spray a couple in your pits, spray a couple on your back in here. And like, I mean, it’s hot, you know. So like, this is something that we you know that more people need. I don’t know if this exists on the East Coast or anything, we don’t really necessarily need it in Southern California. But out here, it’s like, oh, this is actually a really nice useful invention. So that means the the shiatsu shower, that means shirt shop. Which I guess maybe it’s in the sense of like getting refreshed or something like that. So yeah, so we’ll I don’t think we’ll find it in America, but I’ll put a link to the Amazon Japan one at least you can see what it looks like.

Ixchell Reyes 53:54
All right. As always, we thank you for sharing the show buying us a coffee being part of our Patreon. Maybe Brent can update that. Maybe we do have people who check or leave us feedback. If you’re giving us a shout out any other way just to have us on social media. We’re on most of the platforms.

Brent Warner 54:16
For show notes and other episodes, check out 88 And of course you can listen to us at voice Ed Canada at .. I kind of stopped Twitter, Ixchell. Have you?

Ixchell Reyes 54:30
Oh, I’ve only been retweeting i don’t i just for right now I’m just my my tag is or my handle this a placeholder. I don’t know what the future holds.

Brent Warner 54:42
Yeah, I’m really not happy with the direction it’s moving. So I’m kind of trying trying other places but look for me on other places. at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes 54:52
Find me Ixchell, so far, at @Ixy_Pixy. That’s I x y underscore p i x y,

Brent Warner 55:02
Since I’m here, we’ll do Japanese: In Japanese. Thank you is Arigato so arigato for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast.


Fun Finds

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